Friday, December 28

Oh What Fun

Christmas was lovely, and the loveliness lasted nearly all day. We had a sort-of white Christmas, the gifting—both the giving and the receiving—was quite nice, and all the food was delicious. But (of course there is a but) it all sort of fell apart at the end of the day.

Andrew and I were out nearly all day. We spent the morning/early afternoon at my parents’ house, then drove across town to Andrew’s parents’ house. We didn’t arrive home until about 9:30pm. As we pulled up to our house, we noticed that our Christmas lights hadn’t come on. We put them on a timer, so they’ve been turning on automatically each evening for the last few weeks. What a bummer, I thought, for the lights to not work ON CHRISTMAS. Of all the days not to work. But it was a pretty cheap timer, so we guessed it was bound to happen eventually. Andrew tried to turn on the Christmas lights, but he couldn’t get them to work. Maybe there was a problem with the extension cord? We didn’t think much of it and went inside.

We started sorting our gifts according to what part of the house they should go to. Not too exciting. But brrrr, is it chilly in here? Let me check the thermostat. Uh oh, the thermostat is not on! Our electric thermostat was not telling us anything because it apparently did not have power. Hmmm, we began to think. The outside lights and thermostat did not work, but our kitchen lights did. Was there anything else that wasn’t working? And why is the cat acting so weird? Is it the Ghost of Christmas Presents?

We walked around the entire house flipping switches, and about half the power was out. Very randomly. Like nothing on the second floor worked except our bathroom light and two closet lights. Nearly everything worked on the first floor except the outlet the refrigerator was plugged into.

We checked the fuse box. Nothing to flip, but we flipped all the breakers anyway. Andrew called his dad, because his dad is handy like that. He didn’t know what was wrong but offered to come over and check it out. (Which was super nice, because I know that he actually went to bed at about 8:00 because we were still at his house at the time.)

Twenty minutes later, my in-laws arrived, flashlights and tool thingys in hand. Mark (Andrew’s dad) checked the GFIs and the fuse box and a bunch of stuff but couldn’t figure it out. Fortunately for us, we bought the house less than a year ago, and we have some kind of warranty that happens to cover electrical systems. So we decided to call the warranty people in the morning, but what to do for now? It was cold in there and we didn’t want to have to take cold showers in the morning.

So we packed a little overnight bag and back to Andrew’s parents house we went. It was definitely not the way I wanted to spend the evening of my first married Christmas. But that is the way things go sometimes.

Bright and early on the 26th, Andrew called the warranty people, and they said they would send somebody out that day. A guy came to our house by 10:30am. Unfortunately, he said that our house has two main lines coming in from the electric company, and if we had really looked at which lights were out, we would have seen that it was every other breaker in the box. But of course we hadn’t looked at it that closely. So basically, one of our lines was out and this was actually just a problem that the electric company would fix. For free. Not for $55, which is what the warranty guy got. But he was nice and offered to switch our living room lights with the heat, so at least it would warm up. Andrew called the power company, and by the time we got home from work, everything was working again. Ta da!

And that is the story of Christmas.

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